There is no shortage of books and resources on how to be a successful leader. Just enter this term into Google and you will get millions of results.
From the outside looking in or from reading books it can appear straightforward. The reality is very different. So what are some of the realities of being in a leadership role?
Reality 1: High Expectations
The expectations of those in leadership roles are extremely high. Sometimes it can feel like others expect you to have some sort of magic wand that will immediately improve things.
Reality 2: There Are Many Stakeholders
Each of these stakeholders has different interests which you have to try and meet. It is a difficult balancing act.
Reality 3: You Don’t Get A Lot Of Time
You might have a few months to settle in but others are impatient and want to see results fast. Often you have very little time to start delivering.
Reality 4: You Are Only As Good As The Team Around You
No matter how competent you are personally, there is only one of you. To achieve anything you need a great team of people around you.
Reality 5: There Will Always Be Objectors
Whatever you are trying to do, there will always be some who will object to what you are trying to do.
Reality 6: You Can Never Rest On Your Achievements
You might have just delivered a year of exceptional performance. The first day of the new year you are expected to do it all again and a bit better.
Reality 7: It’s Sometimes Lonely
You are senior so people assume that you are totally self confident and never have doubts. Unless you have a support network it can be extremely lonely at the top.
Reality 8: You Always Have To Self Manage
In other words keep calm no matter how frustrated or irritated you might feel.
Reality 9: Everyone Else Thinks They Know Better
If people are not happy with what you propose they will at times seek to undermine what you are trying to do because they believe their way is better.
Reality 10: The Buck Stops With You
At the end of the day you are accountable. Buck passing or blaming is never an option. You have to be willing to be accountable.
What other realities would you add based on your own experiences?
Duncan Brodie helps accountants to achieve more career success. Lear more here
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.